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Hard Contract (1969)

 -  Drama | Mystery  -  23 June 1969 (Sweden)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 325 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 8 critic

A cold hearted American hit man goes to Europe for 'one last score'. His encounter with a beautiful young woman casts self doubt on his lifeblood, and influences him to resist carrying out the contract

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Title: Hard Contract (1969)

Hard Contract (1969) on IMDb 6/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Patrick Magee ...
Alexi
...
Michael Carlson
Claude Dauphin ...
Maurice
Helen Cherry ...
Evelyn Carlson
...
Ellen
Sabine Sun ...
Belgian Prostitute
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Storyline

A cold hearted American hit man goes to Europe for 'one last score'. His encounter with a beautiful young woman casts self doubt on his lifeblood, and influences him to resist carrying out the contract

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

We all know that evil can look good and feel good. But did you ever think that evil might be good? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 June 1969 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Antes amar... después matar  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the only cinema film to be directed by S. Lee Pogostin, a well-known television writer. James Coburn later claimed in interviews that Pogostin was the cause of the film's considerable box-office failure, as he had refused to alter his extremely wordy script and then proved to have little idea of how to direct a film. According to Coburn, the actors more or less directed themselves whilst cameraman Jack Hildyard handled the technical details. See more »

Quotes

John Cunningham: Murder is obsolete.
Ramsey Williams: I'm an old-fashioned man and I prefer and old-fanshioned contract. Get back to me when death is obsolete.
John Cunningham: It is obsolete! It's all obsolete! How do you think bitching became so big?
See more »

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User Reviews

 
bizarre movie, beautiful Lee Remick
11 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm assuming the comments I read on this site were written by horny guys - the accolades to Lee Remick's beauty take up most of the comments. She is absolutely gorgeous and sexy in this movie, and I agree, she's the main reason to see this film.

James Coburn has a "Hard Contract" in this 1969 film about a top hit man, John Cunningham, who's sent to Europe by his boss Ramsey (Burgess Meredith) to kill three people, one of whom, Michael Carlson (Sterling Hayden) was his predecessor in the job. Cummingham is a man completely detached from human emotion; he only pays for sex, won't kiss, and won't let a woman spend the night. While in Europe, he meets a beautiful woman, Sheila Metcalfe (the afore - and oft-mentioned - Remick) and her group of friends, including Adrianne (Lilli Palmer) and an ex-Nazi. Sheila falls for Cummingham, the rest of the group adopts him, and before Cunningham knows it, he's become, for the first time, part of the human race. Carlson knows what he's there for immediately, and the two have a confrontation. Cunningham has started to realize there's something in the world besides killing.

This movie makes a great effort to be deep. It doesn't really know what it is; it lacks a point of view, but it does convey a message. Some of it is kind of cryptic. I actually thought there were lines of dialogue missing from the version I saw.

Coburn is very good as a man who finally realizes he can't avoid living; Remick as an outrageous, adventurous socialite gives a wonderful performance; Palmer as her dizzy friend is delightful. Hayden, never a favorite of mine, was an unusual man in real life, and I think what made him special as a person comes through here. The retired hit man is one who thought a good deal about the meaning of life, as did Hayden, and found peace within himself. Hayden, after his forays into Communism, his guilt over cooperating with the committee, and his basically going out to sea and writing, did the same thing. Karen Black has a small role as a prostitute in the beginning of the film.

A really wonderful cast, an uneven film, a kind of blah ending - still worth seeing for Remick and Coburn in their primes.


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